From Skye Alexander’s Your Goddess Year: Dates For Inviting Her August 14-20 The Yoruba people of Nigeria celebrate Oshun, the goddess of fertility. In her Sacred Grove near Oshogbo with a two-week festival, usually in July or August. At this time of the year, thousands of people visit the nearly two hundred acres of forest dedicated to her, where shrines and artwork abound. This week we, too, honor this gentle, generous, and beautiful deity and align ourselves with her love and kindness. As the protector of fish and birds, Oshun cares for all the creatures that live in or frequent the waterways of western Africa. The colorful peacock is one of her sacred birds. One of the most benevolent of the world's deities, Oshun showers humanity with Love of all kinds, not only romantic but also familial and spiritual. Mythology depicts her as a river goddess, known as the goddess of the sweet (or fresh) waters the River Oshun in Nigeria is named for her. Throughout history, water has symbolized fertility, abundance, and nourishment as well as healing and purification. Oshun represents all these, and more. Like the Asian goddess Kuan Yin (March 5-11), she pours the waters of life onto the world and blesses humanity with joy, compassion, and fruitfulness. Although her kindness and protection extend to all her followers, she lavishes special care on the poor, sick, and orphans. As is the case with many fertility goddesses, Oshun governs the productivity of the land. Folklore tells us she taught agriculture to her people and brought them prosperity. According to one legend, she joined forces with other female deities to create the earth when the male gods failed at the task. Oshun also knows the art of divination and can tell the future using cowrie shells, a skill she shared with the other deities (known as orishas). If you're seeking a new lover or want to sweeten an existing relationship, ask Oshun to school you in the art of seduction. She'll teach you to appreciate your own beauty, to be comfortable with your sexuality, and to open your heart to love. This fertility goddess can also help those who wish to become pregnant. If you've fallen on hard times financially or would like to be more prosperous, she'll bring her knowledge of agriculture to bear and show you how to plant the seeds that attract abundance. Her healing powers can also ease the discomfort of an illness or injury-she may even suggest hydro-therapy, aromatherapy, or a cleansing regimen. Sit beside a body of running water and listen to her voice guiding you. HOW TO INVITE HER
Legends say Oshun had magical powers and a special talent for concocting love spells. Invite her to participate in creating this fragrant love oil with you. You'll need: A piece of pink paper A pen, pencil, or marker that writes red ink Scissors Olive oil A scallop, clam, or cockleshell Rose, ylang-ylang, patchouli, or jasmine essential oil (or a combination) (these are the most important oils associated with love) 1. On the pink paper draw a heart with your red pen, pencil, or marker, and then cut it out. 2. Write your intention on the paper heart, stating the outcome you desire in a positive way, for example, "I now have a lover who's right for me in every way.”As you work, envision your wish coming true and sense Oshun helping you to achieve your heart's desire. 3. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into the shell, so that the shell is about half-full. 4. Add a few drops of the essential oil(s), then stir the mixture with your finger. 5. Put three dots of oil on the heart. 6. Put a dot of oil on your forehead, heart, and solar plexus, which lies about halfway between the heart and belly button. (Note: Some people are sensitive to essential oils, so you may want to do a test beforehand. If your skin does not tolerate the oil, dip a handkerchief in the oil mixture and hold it near your nose as you touch these body points.) 7. When you've finished, take the shell with the remaining oil to a stream or river. Place the shell in the water as an offering to the goddess to thank her for her assistance. 8. Sleep with the paper heart under your pillow each night this week.